By: Fred Duhoe | Voltaonlinegh.com |
Maize has been one of Ghana’s most cultivated crops over the years with most farmers having it on their farms whether on large or small scale.
In September last year, fall armyworms invaded maize farms in parts of Ghana and some other neighbouring countries causing distraction to acres of cultivated maize farms. The fall armyworms proved difficult to control even with chemical sprays.
This became a hurdle for the sector minister, Dr Akoto Osei while farmers also counted their losses.
However, a visit to a maize farm of Torgbui Boni at Anloga in the Keta Municipality of the Volta Region revealed a different story. Here, the farmer devised a strategy to prevent flocks of weaver birds which entered the farm to feed on the cultivated farmland of about 100×100 plot of land.
The farm located in the midst of households looked very green, a sign of a productive maize farm, thus, attracting these birds.
“How do these birds even know that the maize is ready for consumption? I haven’t seen or experienced this kind of disturbance from weaver birds before. At least with these hard plastic bottles covering the maize, the birds can’t peel the husk to gain access,” Torgbui Boni observed.
Meanwhile, a young farmer, Torgbui’s grandson, Emmanuel Boni busied himself to scare the birds away. For his strategy to save the little left on the farm, the boy was seen cutting the base of plastic bottles which he fixed on the maize as a form of protective coat to secure the maize. Empty sachet rubbers were also not left out.
Narrating his reasons, the young farmer who was tasked by his grandfather said “protecting the maize this way makes it difficult for the stubborn weaver birds to destroy the maize. We have no option than to use this method in order to harvest what we’ve sowed.”
Products of maize find their ways to almost every dining table in Ghana and in most West African countries. Banku one of the staple foods of the Ghanaian people, especially those from the Volta Region is made from maize and any attempt by the hungry weaver birds to harvest the maize before its rightful owner will mean denying them of their favourite food.
Maize, one of the easily cultivated crops and which can be preserved for a longer period has a bag in Ghana currently being sold at about GH₵500.